Q.1. Why did the Muslims of Indo-Pak subcontinent demand a separate homeland for themselves?
Hindus and Muslims had lived peacefully together in India for centuries, but after the British invasion in South Asia and their undue support to Hindus, life became very difficult for Indian Muslims. In fact, the Muslims were a separate nation who always adhered to their religious identity. The British and the Hindus in spite of their great efforts could not put a wedge into the Muslim unity and their love for the national character. The creation of Pakistan owes much to this feeling of adherence to their national image and religious identity.
The Muslims of Indo Pak Sub Continent demanded a separate homeland on the following grounds.
1. Desire to establish an Islamic State
Islam is a complete code of life for the Muslims and they are eager to implement it in their personal and collective life. Islamic code of Life or Islamic Ideology cannot be implemented until a pure Islamic Society free from all other unIslamic influences is established. The desire to establish an Islamic State was also one of the factors to demand a separate homeland.
2. Two Nation Theory
The Two Nation Theory played an important role for demanding a separate homeland according to which Hindus and Muslims are the two nations and therefore they cannot live together. Quaid-e-Azam once said,
Hindus and Muslims though living in the same towns and villages had never been blended into one nation. They were always two separate entities.
So the Muslims should have a separate State where they could lead their individual and collective life in accordance with the Islamic principles.
3. Historical Collusion
Hindu and Muslim historical collusion started when Muhammad Bin Qasim, defeating Raja Dahir, founded Islamic government in the subcontinent. Many battles were fought between Hindus and Muslims under Muslim Rule. The historical collusion continued also during the British Regime. Hindus, cooperating with British, tried to diminish Muslim culture and their way of life but they remained futile. The future of Muslims was obvious in such condition; therefore they decided to demand for the separate homeland.
4. Hindus and British
Since the British snatched power from Muslims, they were doubtful about the faithfulness of Muslims. So, Hindus and British joined hands to destroy the Muslims morally, socially, economically and politically. They reserved all higher civil, judicial and military appointments for British only while Muslims were debarred from all official positions. The Islamic educational system was replaced by British one. Then Muslims were forced to change their religion to Christianity and were compelled to send their children to co educational institutes and abandon purdha. This was the reason that Muslims became fed up with both British and Hindus and decided to have a separate homeland.
5. British Parliamentary System
Indian National Congress demanded the British Parliamentary system of government in India which meant majority rule. The implementation of this simply meant the Hindus slavery of Muslims since they were in majority. This was the reason that Muslims stressed on separate electorates and got it accepted. Separate electorate was the first brick in the foundation of demand for separate homeland.
6. Shuddi and Sangathan Movement
Hindu Muslim Unity evaporated in the year after the Khilafat Movement and Hindu Muslim Riots began. The poison of differences between the two nations aggravated with the passage of time. The differences reached to the peak when Shuddhi and Sangathan movements began. The Shuddhi Movement aimed at the mass conversion of certain backward groups of Muslims into Hindus by force whereas the Sangathan Programme sought to organize the Hindus into a Militant force to flight with the Muslims.
7. Activities of Maha Sabha
Maha Sabha was established in 1900. It was a non political party until the Shuddhi and Sangathan Movement started. These movements motivated Maha Sabha to be involved in politics. It proved to be the worst enemy of Muslims. The party declared Muslims as outsiders and said that Muslims have no relation with India. If they want to leave it then they could leave it happily but if they want to leave it then they could leave it happily but if they want to live in India, they will have to accept Hindu Mut. So it was impossible for Hindus and Muslims to live in a country together.
8. Protection of Urdu Language
Urdu was considered to be the language of Muslims in the subcontinent. In 1867, the Hindu-Urdu controversy began with some outstanding Hindus of Banaras demanding replacements of Urdu by Hindi as the court language. The supporters of Hindi claimed for it a national status whereas the Muslims hotly denied it. As the controversy spread, the two languages became more and more exclusive. Muslims got very disappointed when in April 1900 UP Governor Sir Antony Mac Donnell gave Hindi the status of National language with Urdu. That’s why Muslims felt the need to set a political party. Then after a detailed discussion at last All India Muslim League was established in 1906. Maulvi Abdul Haque (1870-1961) has rightly said, Urdu Language placed the first brick in the foundation of Pakistan. It is a reality that it was one of the major reasons for demanding a separate country.
9. Protection of Muslim Culture
Hindus, with the consent of British during the Congress Ministries, burnt and looted the properties and houses of Muslims, Moreover, the signs of Muslims, past glory were damaged. Educational Syllabus was changed. Urdu was replaced by Hindi and the Muslim students were forced to worship statues of Gandhi in their schools. The Muslims of India, therefore, decided that the Muslim culture could be protected in a free and separate Muslim State.
10. Narrow mindedness of Hindus
Hindu is a narrow-minded nation who does not believe the philosophy of equality. They considers themselves superior and used to call Muslims ‘Maleech’ (impure). There was no concept of eating and drinding together. Furthermore Muslims were not allowed to touch the food items of Hindus. There was only way out for the Muslims to demand a separate homeland.
11. Economic Hardships
During the period of British Government, Hindus practically threw out Muslims from the fields of trade and industry. All the business, industrial, and services opportunities were occupied by Hindus and some degraded jobs were left for the Muslims. Muslims of India became the political slave of British and economic slave of Hindus. To come out from this vicious circle, at last, Muslims decided to demand for a separate homeland.
12. Congress Ministries
During the period of Congress Ministries (1937-1939). Hindus did worst possible injustice with Muslims. The Hindu-Muslim riots were usual during the Congress rule. Band-e-Mataram, three coloured flag and statue of Gandhi were introduced at national level. Urdu was replaced by Hindi and slaughtering cow was banned. Muslim leaders showed their resentment before Gandhi and Jawahar lal Nehru. Gandhi showed his helpless while Nehru plainly and openly said that there were only two nations in India, Congress and British and the rest should follow them. After this statement, nothing for left for Muslims but to present Pakistan Resolution in 1940.
On the basis of above mentioned factors and bitter attitude of British and Congress the Muslims apprehended that they would lose their identity if they remained a part of Hindu society. Therefore they quitted Congress and demanded separate land on the ground that they were different nation from Hindus. According to Quaid-e-Azam
The Muslims demanded Pakistan were they can rule in accordance with their own system of life, their cultural development, their traditions and Islamic law.